Nicklaus says he won’t talk about Trump support

The Associated Press

AUGUSTA, Ga.-Jack Nicklaus says he is done talking about his endorsement of President Donald Trump.

The six-time Masters champion posted a message of support for the Republican candidate on social media shortly before the election. He also said he had already voted for Trump, who wound up losing the Nov. 3 election to former Vice-President Joe Biden.

Nicklaus was at Augusta National on Thursday to open the Masters with a ceremonial tee shot alongside fellow Hall of Famer Gary Player.

Asked about his endorsement of Trump, Nicklaus said, “I think I’ve said enough about that. I don’t think this is a place for politics.”

8:05 a.m.

Turns out there is some normalcy to this Masters: Rain.

About a half-hour after Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player hit honorary tee shots before the smallest crowd ever, a rumble could be heard from Amen Corner. It wasn’t a roar, but an approaching storm. The course was evacuated because of lightning in the area at about 7:35 a.m.

Because of the move to November and the tight window of daylight hours, play began off both sets of tees.

And with no spectators, only about 500 people – Augusta National members and family, a few wives of players, media and tournament officials – gathered around the first tee to watch Nicklaus and Player hit their drives. Nicklaus had his wife, Barbara, dressed in the white coveralls for caddies.

Most jarring was the sound of a drone – a first for the Masters. Club Chairman Fred Ridley said two drones would be used for the week.

Also peculiar was 1988 champion Sandy Lyle wearing suspenders. And when he hit his tee shot off the 10th for the earliest start and with fog clinging to the fairways, Lyle turned and said, “Where did it go?”

Nine players have completed one hole. No one made birdie. Chinese amateur Yuxin Lin made double bogey on No. 10.